Nobody Puts Kenzie In The Corner: Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls (No, Seriously, It’s Exhausting)

Chris Pratt, if you’re reading this, will you please be my date to Junior Ring?


Juniors Kelly Hulsey and Mackenzie O’Guin huddle by a waterfall, freezing and exhausted. photo courtesy of Travis O’Guin

by Mackenzie O'Guin, Design Editor

I have walked among legends, dinosaurs, and junior Kelly Hulsey.

Hello, dear friends, please gather ’round to hear the gripping saga that led me to the same grounds once inhabited by Chris Pratt and several ferocious dinosaurs.

While on our Christmas break Hawaii excursion, junior Kelly Hulsey and I spent one particularly adventurous afternoon at Waimea Falls. Apparently, Waimea Falls has born witness to the filming of many classic films such as Jurassic World, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-wrecked. We hiked a daunting 2.5 miles to the waterfall. A small band of Jurassic fanatics, my little brother, mother, Kelly, and I spent most of that hike fawning over somewhat familiar trees and speculating over whether or not that specific greenery (no, not over there, the stuff to the left!) was featured for a 1/100th of a second of a scene.

The greatest of these fanatical moments was when we finally reached the falls. My mother stopped short.

“Kenzie, Kelly,” she stared in awe, “is that the waterfall?”

Those of you who have seen the absolute masterpiece that is Jurassic World may remember the epic scene in which our brave young antagonists courageously dive off the waterfall in avoidance of death by Indominus Rex.

“Oh my god,” Kelly murmured, “I think it is.”

This realization begged yet another: special effects are a wondrous thing. The treacherous-looking feat displayed in the movie was, in fact, not all that bad.

Now I want to share with you an abridged list of useful waterfall facts.

  1. Some rocks are slippery.
  2. Some rocks are sharp.
  3. If cats fall from a height, they will always land on their feet. Similarly, if you slip on slippery rocks, you will always land on sharp rocks.
  4. Water is cold.
  5. Life jackets are a necessity, for the exact depth of the water is horrifyingly unclear.
  6. Currents are extremely strong, and will only get stronger the closer you get to the falls. (I now fully understand why people die in the ocean from exhaustion whilst trying to swim ashore)
  7. In regards to swimming, form is great. But so is flailing every limb and gagging like a wounded octopus. (hint: I am not a strong swimmer)

Overall, I would rate my waterfall experience as a solid 10/10. Anyone visiting Oahu should definitely visit Waimea Valley and hike your way down to the falls. Who knows, you might even run into a dinosaur.


So long and goodnight,

Mackenzie Nicole O’Guin

Special thanks to my parents for taking us to Waiea Falls, my little cherubic brother Travie for gleefully explaining that dinosaurs are in fact very real, Kelly Hulsey for dragging me upstream when my weak muscles gave out, and the peacock that tried to attack us before my father fended it off with nothing but a beach towel and his bare hands. You the real MVP